Back in August Japanese southpaw Ryosuke Iwasa (25-3, 16) [岩佐 亮佑] lost the IBF Super Bantamweight title, coming up short against TJ Doheny (20-0, 14).
Following that bout Iwasa seemed to hint at retirement. He had almost vanished from boxing and it seemed like he really had wanted to walk away. Today however he revealed he's not leaving the sport, and is instead looking to fight in an IBF eliminator bout and recapture the IBF title that he lost to Doheny.
Iwasa stated, at a press conference, that he was "80%" sure that he was going to retire in the wake of his loss to Doheny. In September however he changed his mind and began to return to the gym deciding that he wanted to get back to fighting. He was also encouraged by the idea of being involved in a potential Super Bantamweight WBSS and becoming a 2-time champion.
From comments made at the press conference it seems like Iwasa's return will be early in 2019 in an IBF eliminator, giving him a quick chance to avenge the loss to Doheny. At the moment however it's unclear who he would be fighting in such an eliminator, though his close friend Shingo Wake (25-5-2, 17) [和氣 慎吾] is a possible given that both men are very highly ranked with the IBF at the moment.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today fight fans around the globe had the chance to see an IBF Super Bantamweight title bout from the Korakuen Hall. That bout saw Ryosuke Iwasa (25-3, 16) [岩佐 亮佑] lose the title to mandatory challenger TJ Doheny (20-0, 14) with a majority decision.
Following the bout there was several things to note.
Firstly Tomoki Kameda (35-2, 20) [亀田和毅] climbed onto the ring apron after the fight to issue a challenge to Doheny. Doheny, later told the media that he would fight anyone and it does seem like he's not against fighting Kameda. Similarly there is also interest from Shingo Wake (25-5-2, 17) [和氣 慎吾] to face Doheny, with Wake telling the press he would like to fight the new champion.
Iwasa stated that he felt he'd lost, and explained that his "skill was not enough". It was also revealed that his mentor Celes Kobayashi told him, after 8 rounds, that he would need a knockdown to win the bout.
It was also stated to the press that Iwasa's unsure if he's going to continue his career. It wasn't clear that he was going to retire, but the 28 year old did seem to suggest it was a real possibility.
For those interest we've included the score card below.
(Images courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today the East Japan Boxing Association announced the award winners for the month of July, announcing winners for all 3 of the regular awards.
The MVP was, unsurprisingly, Shingo Wake (25-5-2, 17) [和氣 慎吾] who earned the honour following his excellent TKO win over Yusaku Kuga [久我勇作] for the Japanese Super Bantamweight title. Wake controlled the bout, putting Kuga down in round 2 and then stopped the defending champion in the 10th round, whilst comfortably up on the score cards. The win should open the door for a second title fight for Wake who looked fantastic through out the contest.
The Fighting Spirit Award was won by youngster Yoshimitsu Kimura (10-1, 7) [木村吉光] who stopped Kazuma Sanpei [三瓶数馬] to claim the Japanese Youth Super Featherweight title. Kimura was fighting for the first time since losing to Richard Pumicpic in a WBO Asia Pacific title fight and looked to have improved significantly since that set back as he put the sword to Sanpei and claimed his first professional title.
The third award was the New Comer award, which was won by Seiryu Toshikawa (10-4, 6) [利川聖隆] who earned the award thanks to an upset win over Ryuji Ikeda [池田竜司].
The winners will be honoured with a special ceremony on September 29th at the Koarakuan Hall.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Every so often the Japanese domestic scene gets a special title bout, a bout that transcends the usual fan base of the Japanese title scene and actually manages to interest a slightly larger audience than normal. One such title bout took place earlier today and saw the end of Yusaku Kuga's (16-3-1, 11) [久我勇作] reign as the Japanese Super Bantamweight champion, as he was dominated and stopped by new the champion Shingo Wake (25-5-2, 17) [和氣 慎吾].
Kuga, who was hunting his third defense, struggled in the early going with Wake's southpaw lead and sharp shooting. Kuga looked to cut the distance but was unable to press with out being for fed accurate shot, including a thunderous left hand that dropped him in round 2.
Wake's control of the bout saw him hurting Kuga in round 4, with the defending champion managing to stay upright, but took a lot of damage with one judge actually scoring the round 10-8 to Wake. The only respite that Kuga managed to get was in round 3, though it hardly helped and when the scores were announced after 5 rounds Wake was leading 49-45, twice and 48-45.
Whilst being in the lead Wake was also cut, from a nasty clash of head, but he didn't seem to let the cut bother him too much as the fight continued.
The open scoring seemed to give Kuga a sense of direction, knowing he had to turn things around and go for Wake. Sadly for him Wake was equal to it, as he continued to control the distance, using the pressure and aggression of Kuga against the champion who took clean shots as he came forward. The more Kuga attacked the easier life was for Wake, who lost round 7 but went on to take rounds 8 and 9 as Kuga began to flag, the extra aggression of the champion was pushing his gas tank. Kuga's team sent him out for the final round knowing their man was behind and when he got tagged cleanly in the early moments of the round they saved him, throwing in the towel and preventing further harm to their tired and beaten fighter.
After the bout there was suggestions from Wake's team of fighting for a world title on New Year's Eve, though obviously that was a statement with a sense of hope rather than expectancy. Kuga seemed to see the loss as learning experience, admitting that he was too impatient and made some mistakes in terms of his movement. Despite the loss he is young enough to come again, and with his team saving him from devastating harm there is a good chance that he will be able to reclaim this title in the future.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall get one of the best domestic match ups they could have asked for as Yusaku Kuga (16-2-1, 11) [久我勇作] defends the Japanese Super Bantamweight title against Shingo Wake (24-5-2, 16) [和氣 慎吾]. The two world ranked fighters are both looking at the bout as a great chance to move towards a world title fight and to open the door to bigger and better opportunities.
Interesting the bout is one of the very, very few Japanese domestic bouts that UK book makers have actually priced up, with several bookies pricing the bout.
All of them favour the heavy handed champion, who will be seeking his third defense of the title. The champion is best priced at at 8/13 to win and retain his title, and essentially mark himself as the next leading Japanese contender for a world title. Wake on the other hand is best priced at 17/12, a really good price for the challenger given his experience at world and Oriental level.
The odds on the draw are are 20/1, suggesting that the draw is more likely that we usually see for a bout like this.
Interesting there is is also a market for total rounds. The market has been set are over/under 8.5 rounds. The over is priced at 2/5 whilst the under is available at 7/4.
Interestingly a Japanese poll on Boxmob has Kuga favoured to win, with 61% of the vote and and around 36% have gone for Wake with the remaining being on the draw. Of the total vote Kuga by stoppage has taken 46% of the total vote whilst a Kuga decision has 15%, Wake by stoppage has 22% of the vote whilst a Wake deciison has 14%.
Related-Japanese king Kuga takes on slick Wake in upcoming defense
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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